Barbara Koenig

Research Interests

Animal behaviour; social evolution; social behaviour; social selection; energetics and immunology of lactation; kin recognition; conservation biology; animal welfare of lab and zoo animals


Education and Professional Positions

2015 - 2019 Secretary General, International Council of Ethology (ICE)
2012 - 2016 Managing Director, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2012 - present Full Professor in Zoology, Animal Behaviour, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2003 - 2004 President of the German Zoological Society (DZG e.V.)
1996 - 2012 Associate Professor in Zoology, Animal Behavior, University of Zurich, Switzerland
1996 Visiting Scientist at the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, India
1996 Heisenberg Fellow of the German Science Foundation, Germany
1995 - 1996 Oberassistentin in Zoology, University of Würzburg, Germany
1995 Habilitation in Zoology at the University of Würzburg, Germany
1989 - 1995 Research assistant at the University of Würzburg, Germany (K.E. Linsenmair)
1988 - 1989 Free-lance translator of scientific textbooks
1985 - 1988 Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Basel, Switzerland (S.C. Stearns)
1981 - 1985 Ph.D. Thesis (summa cum laude), University of Konstanz, Germany (Supervisor: H. Markl)
1980 - 1981 Graduate research student at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (J.M. Cullen)
1974 - 1979 Study of biology (Diploma), University Konstanz, Germany

Selected Publications

  • Lopes PC., Block P., König B. (2016) Infection-induced behavioural changes reduce connectivity and the potential for disease spread in wild mice contact networks. Scientific Reports 6:31790. Published online: 22 August 2016. DOI: 10.1038/srep31790
  • Ferrari M., Lindholm AK., König B. (2016) A reduced propensity to cooperate under enhanced exploitation risk in a social mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B 283: 20160068. Published online: 11 May 2016. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0068
  • Harrison N., Lopes PC., König B. (2016) Oxytocin and social preferences in female house mice (Mus musculus domesticus). Ethology 122: 1-11. Published online: 25 May 2016. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12505
  • König B., Lindholm AK., Lopes PC., Dobay A., Steinert S., Buschmann FJU. (2015) A system for automatic recording of social behavior in a free-living wild house mouse population. Animal Biotelemetry, 3(1):39. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-015-0069-0
  • Dobay A., Pilo P., Lindholm AK., Origgi F., Bagheri HC., König B. (2015) Dynamics of a tularemia outbreak in a closely monitored free-roaming population of wild house mice. PLoS ONE, 10(11):e0141103. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141103
  • Origgi FC., König B., Lindholm AK., Mayor D., Pilo P. (2015) Tularemia among Free-Ranging Mice without Infection of Exposed Humans, Switzerland, 2012. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 21(1):133-135. DOI: 10.3201/eid2101.140906
  • Ferrari M., Lindholm AK., König B. (2015) The risk of exploitation during communal nursing in house mice, Mus musculus domesticus. Animal Behaviour, 110:133-143. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.09.018
  • Manser A., König B., Lindholm AK. (2015) Female house mice avoid fertilization by t haplotype incompatible males in a mate choice experiment. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(1):54-64. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12525
  • Schoepf I., Schmohl G., König B., Pillay N., Schradin C. (2015) Manipulation of population density and food availability affects home-range sizes of African striped mouse females. Animal Behaviour 99: 53-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.10.002
  • Ferrari M., Lindholm AK., König B. (2014) A genetic tool to manipulate litter size. Frontiers in Zoology, 11(18):online. DOI: 10.1186/1742-9994-11-18
  • Weidt A., Lindholm AK., König B. (2014) Communal nursing in wild house mice is not a by-product of group living: Females choose. Die Naturwissenschaften, 101(1):73-76. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-013-1130-6
  • Auclair Y., König B., Lindholm AK. (2014) Socially mediated polyandry: a new benefit of communal nesting in mammals. Behavioral Ecology:1-7. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/aru143
  • Auclair Y., König B., Ferrari M., Perony N., Lindholm AK. (2014) Nest attendance of lactating females in a wild house mouse population: benefits associated with communal nesting. Animal Behaviour, 92:143-149. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.03.008
  • König B. (2014) Haben Tiere eine Kultur–ist unsere Kultur» tierisch «? Zum evolutionären Ort von Kultur. In: Wo ist Kultur?: Perspektiven der Kulturanalyse (eds. Forrer, T. & Linke, A.) vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zurich, pp. 57-72
  • Lindholm AK., Musolf K., Weidt A., König B. (2013). Mate choice for genetic compatibility in the house mouse. Ecology and Evolution, 3(5):1231-1247. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.534
  • Auclair Y., König B., Lindholm AK. (2013) A selfish genetic element influencing longevity correlates with reactive behavioural traits in female house mice (Mus domesticus). PLoS ONE, 8(6):e67130. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067130
  • Kerth G., Gusset M., Garbely J., König B., Gabanapelo T., Schiess-Meier M. (2013) Genetic sexing of stock-raiding leopards: Not only males to blame. Conservation Genetics Resources 5 (4), 1101-1105. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-013-9979-4
  • König B., Lindholm AK. (2012) The complex social environment of female house mice (Mus domesticus). In: Evolution in Our Neighbourhood. The House Mouse as a Model in Evolutionary Research. Eds.: Macholan, M, Baird, SJE, Munclinger, P & Pialek, J, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; pp 114-134
  • Schradin C., Scantlebury M., Pillay N., König B. (2009) Testosterone levels in dominant sociable males are lower than in solitary roamers. Physiological differences between three male reproductive tactics in a sociably flexible mammal. American Naturalist, 173(3):376-388. DOI: 10.1086/596535
  • König B. (2006) Non-offspring nursing in mammals: general implications from a case study on house mice. In: Kappeler, P M; van Schaik, C P. Cooperation in Primates and Humans: Mechanisms and Evolution. Berlin Heidelberg, 191-205. ISBN 978-3-540-28269-3 (Print); 978-3-540-28277-8 (Online)